Nathaniel Schultz, Joliet Central Class of 2019, heads to Washington DC to serve as US Senate Page
August 28, 2017 08:35 AM
The Sunday night before his first day of junior year at Joliet Central High School, Nathaniel “Nate” Schultz, son of Mark and Cathy Schultz, received an unexpected phone call with the caller ID reading “Washington, D.C.”
This fateful phone call turned out to be an offer for the prestigious and highly selective position of United States Senate Page, of which only 30 are selected throughout the entire country. Senator Richard Durbin had personally appointed and sponsored Schultz. Without hesitation, Schultz agreed to start this fall.
Schultz and the other pages will move to Daniel Webster Hall in Washington, D.C., within the coming weeks and stay in the position through mid-January. Pages will attend classes in the early morning at the United States Senate Page School, followed by their time-intensive page duties in the Capitol.
According to the United States Senate Page website, “Senate page duties consist primarily of delivery of correspondence and legislative material within the Congressional complex. Other duties include preparing the chamber for Senate sessions, and carrying bills and amendments to the desk.”
Schultz is more than prepared for this challenge. In high school, he gained well-rounded skills by participating in speech team, tennis team, the student news, and school musicals. Relevant classes have included AP Human Geography with Ms. Seffner and AP European History with Mr. Gandhi Schlote.
Schultz’s political journey began at age 14, when he started following the news daily. At 15, he met with a city councilperson to discuss local issues and later did canvassing and campaign work for local candidates. He also served as an honorary page for Representative Larry Walsh, Jr. last spring. This summer, he served in Chris Kennedy’s gubernatorial campaign in downtown Chicago.
It was upon being selected as a local honorary page that Schultz decided to learn more about pages. As he researched online, he learned of the Senate Page opportunity and took the initiative to personally contact Senator Durbin’s Washington, D.C. office. Within that same week, he submitted the application, which included a resume, an essay, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. His teachers were more than happy to recommend him, due to his self-driven passion, nuanced historical skills, and great work ethic.
Teacher Joseph Hoyt said, “Nate is an incredibly dedicated student that excels at everything he does. I’ve had the privilege to work with him for two years and witness his growth as a student, a leader, and as a person. There’s no doubt that Nate will make a great impression while serving the Senate, and I’m going to miss having him at Central. At the same time, I’m very excited that he has this opportunity.”
History Teacher Gandhi Schlote added, “Nathaniel can engage those around him in discussions that seek to find solutions and not sides. Above all, his selfless approach to solution-based discourse will be his ally as a Senate Page.”
This experience will serve Schultz well as he aspires to study policy and foreign diplomacy in colleges such as Georgetown University, American University, and the University of Chicago.
As for advice for younger students who would like to follow in his footsteps, Schultz said, “Stay fully committed and work as hard as possible to achieve in your classes and activities. It’s also really important to stay informed about local, state, and national politics. Now is one of the most important times to be informed in American history. In addition to being informed, be active to make a difference. Knowledge and action need to go together.”